Belgium retains 16th place in Transparency International index

NGO Transparency International ranks Belgium 16th out of 180 countries in its latest corruption index. Denmark, Finland, New Zealand and Norway are the least corrupt countries, according to its latest report. 

Transparency International examines the state of corruption in the public sector around the world every year. Based on expert assessments, countries are assigned a score between 0, meaning very corrupt, and 100, meaning corruption-free. Belgium scored 73 points out of 100, the same as in the two previous years. 

At the top of the list are Denmark with 90 points, Finland, 87, New Zealand, 85, Norway, 84, and Singapore, 83. At the bottom are Somalia, 11, Venezuela, 13, Syria, 13, and South Sudan, 13. Among EU countries, Hungary has the lowest score, with 42. It has dropped to 76th place in the ranking under prime minister Viktor Orban. In 2012, it scored 55 points.

More than two-thirds of the countries on the list score less than 50 out of 100, a strong indication that they have serious corruption problems, the NGO said. The global average is 43. The vast majority of countries made no progress or deteriorated in the past, the report shows, with 23 countries recording their lowest score since the index began in 1995. These include Sweden (82), the Netherlands (79), Iceland (72) and the UK (71).

“Weak accountability and political corruption undermine the rule of law in a region where people are losing faith in institutions,” Transparency International said of corruption in Europe. “In the most alarming cases, small interest groups have too much control over political decision-making. In other cases, governments are targeting journalists, whistleblowers and other watchdogs.”


A protest in Bratislava, Slovakia, 25 January 2024, against a plan by populist prime minister Robert Fico to amend the penal code, eliminate a national prosecutors office and reduce punishments for corruption © CTK PHOTO / HOLUBOVA DOROTA

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